1812, in the North Yorkshire market town of Gorebeck, Miss Molly Mason is approaching her twenty-first birthday. After her father died her care was left in the hands of Mrs Dorothea Cresswell who owns a successful dressmaker’s establishment in the newer part of the town. The two women resent and distrust each other deeply. When Molly receives a message from a legal representative of her father’s estate, her long-standing dreams of escaping from the control of Dorothea resurface. She approaches her dearest friend and confidant Mrs Alice Cleghorn who owns a baker’s shop in the older part of town. Molly decides if she has not been left a means to independence she would rather work as the baker’s apprentice and live with Alice. This ill thought-out plan is foiled when Dorothea’s daughter, Miss Juniper Cresswell’s fiancé, war hero Lt. Bartholomew Cherry, returns accompanied with a mysterious friend. The stranger brings with him suspicions of murder and mystery concerning the death of both his and Molly’s fathers. Molly too has always suspected Dorothea somehow caused her father’s early demise. Together, Molly and the stranger not only discover a surprising truth hidden behind a locked door, but that he holds the key to this and also Molly’s heart.